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War in Ukraine moves ‘Doomsday Clock’ to 90 seconds to midnight

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the specter of nuclear weapons being used, the closest Earth crept to Armageddon, a science-oriented advocacy group said, pushed the famous “Doomsday Clock” up to just 90 seconds to midnight.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the specter of nuclear weapons being used, the closest Earth crept to Armageddon, a science-oriented advocacy group said, pushed the famous “Doomsday Clock” up to just 90 seconds to midnight.

“We are really closer to that doomsday,” former Mongolian president Elbegdorj Tsakhia said Tuesday during the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ annual announcement, which assessed how close humanity is to itself. He and former Irish President Mary Robinson joined scholars to underline what they see as a collection of various existential threats, chief among them the actions and words of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“People and scientists are warning us and we need to wake up now,” he said.

The advocacy group began using a clock in 1947 to symbolize the potential and likelihood of people doing something to end humanity. It brought the clock 10 seconds closer than last year, making it the closest ever to 12. It’s a whopping 17 minutes past midnight after the end of the Cold War, but in the past few years the group has changed from counting down the minutes to midnight to counting down the seconds.

Doomsday hasn’t happened yet.

“We are sending a message that the situation is becoming more urgent,” Bulletin president Rachel Bronson said in the online announcement. “Crises are more common and have broader consequences and long-lasting effects.”

And to highlight the effect the Russian invasion of Ukraine had on the approach of theoretical doomsday, the group said it was also announcing the timepiece in Russian and Ukrainian languages ​​for the first time.

“Putin has repeatedly raised the specter of nuclear use,” said Steve Fetter, graduate school dean and professor of public policy at the University of Maryland.

“Putin has given no indication that he is ready to accept defeat,” Fetter said. “He might make desperate moves if no other options are available that he considers acceptable.”

Scientists and activists accompanying the Bulletin announcement also cited China’s nuclear weapons proliferation, Iran increasing its uranium enrichment, North Korea’s missile tests, future pandemics from animal diseases, pathogens from lab errors, “disruptive technologies” and worsening climate change as other existential threats. to humanity.


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